According to data from the first quarter of this year, Norway has surpassed Russia in sales of natural gas with exports to Western European countries. While Norway's sales were around 29.2 billion cubic meters, Russia's sales were around 20.2 billion cubic meters in the same quarter. Norway's media based the news on data from Norwegian state gas distributor Gassco and Russian state energy company Gazprom. Accordingly, while Norway's natural gas exports to Western European countries was around 29.5 billion cubic meters, Russia's was around 19.8 billion cubic meters in the last quarter of last year. Norway's natural gas exports surpassed Russia's for a short while back in 2012, however, the natural gas giant Russia regained the lead in a short period of time. Due to Russia's intervention in Ukraine and the acquisition of Crimea, EU and Russian relations have become tense forcing Brussels to propose decreasing the purchase of natural gas from Russia. Another reason behind the increase of Norway's natural gas exports is Norway offering flexible natural gas prices due to the decreasing global crude oil prices. However, according to the European Commission, when all statistical data related to 2014 is considered, Russia remains the highest gas supplier to the EU.
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